Hours after Wisconsin said it had accepted Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s petition for a statewide recount, the Hillary Clinton campaign said it would not stand in the sidelines. “The Commission is preparing to move forward with a statewide recount of votes for President of the United States,” Wisconsin Election Commission’s Administrator Michael Haas said in a statement issued on Friday afternoon.
On Saturday, Marc Elias, the general counsel for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, wrote a post on Medium in which he assured supporters they have been extensively reviewing the election results for any evidence of possible foul play. Despite all its efforts, the campaign hasn’t found anything resembling convincing evidence that anything was amiss.
“Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides,” Elias wrote. “If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well.”
Despite the participation, Elias emphasized voters shouldn’t really get their hopes up that the campaign believes the results could flip. “We do so fully aware that the number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of these states — Michigan — well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount,” Elias wrote. “But regardless of the potential to change the outcome in any of the states, we feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process itself.”
The Wisconsin recount is likely to begin next week but first the state has to come up with a cost estimate and receive the payment. The recount would have to be done quickly due to a law that says all states have to complete presidential recounts within 35 days of the election. “You may potentially have the state electoral votes at stake if it doesn’t get done by then,” said Haas, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has been largely ignoring questions about the recount efforts. Earlier in the week, Kellyanne Conway took to Twitter to mock Clinton supporters for the calls to recount the votes. “Look who ‘can’t accept the election results’,” Conway wrote, linking to a New York Times story.